TCR SPA 500 winner Pepe Oriola contributes in the fight with Covid-19

News | April 7, 2020

The young Spaniard, an inaugural winner of the TCR SPA 500 and a former class winner in the 24H SERIES, is the new world ambassador for new Barcelona-based ByFever and the start-up company’s new range of thermal cameras.

Pepe Oriola, a winner of the inaugural TCR SPA 500, has this week joined forces with ByFever, a Barcelona-based start-up company looking to minimize Covid-19 infection with its new thermal camera.


The new camera is a non-invasive method of recording the body temperatures of multiple people, from a safe distance, via thermal imaging. Thanks to the latest development of artificial intelligence, the camera can detect hot zones of the human body between 35 and 40 degrees from a 3-metre distance with a margin of error of only 0.3 degrees.


With this recorded data, ByFever can then create a ‘temperature profile’ in real time at set locations, allowing the operator to detect spikes quickly and safely. With fever being one of the main symptoms of Covid-19, it is hoped the new thermal camera will help reduce he levels of contagion at hot spots for public transport like metro, railway and bus stations, airports, and other potentially built-up areas like hospitals and shopping centres.

Fellow Barcelona native Oriola has now put his support behind ByFever’s new initiative, and was this week announced as a World Ambassador for the company. It is hoped that, once development of the thermal camera is complete in Spain, mass roll-out can begin internationally.


“One of the most obvious symptoms of those who have suffered, suffer and will suffer from this disease, as reported by the World Health Organization, is fever,” Oriola explained in an official statement. “Thanks to these thermal cameras, they can be detected in real time to people who, quite possibly, may be infected and act immediately to minimize the risks of transmission of the virus in public spaces.


“These cameras are adapted to the needs of hospitals, shopping malls, concert halls, sports shows or public transport vehicles, and are specially designed for when we overcome this invisible enemy.”

A former race winner in both the World Touring Car Championship in 2013 and the World Touring Car Cup in 2018, 25-year-old Pepe Oriola also spent three seasons competing in the TCR International Series, finishing 2nd in the overall standings in 2015. In 2010, the young Spaniard made his 24H SERIES debut, collecting an A3T-class victory at that year’s 12H HUNGARY with MONLAU COMPETICION.


Last October, Oriola, the youngest WTCC race winner in history, partnered with fellow World Touring Car Championship alumnus Tom Coronel and father-son duo Ivo and Rik Breukers to take a commanding win at the inaugural TCR SPA 500 for Red During the 23-hour event, Oriola also set one of the race’s fastest laps en-route aboard the Ducth team’s CUPRA TCR en-route to taking the chequered flag.  

*Images from last year's TCR SPA 500 courtesy of Petr Frýba

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